Palin to Limbaugh: No, America's not ready for a third party

Her interview with Barbara Walters had more memorable lines — calling the tea-party movement “beautiful,” declining Letterman’s invite because “I don’t think that I’d want to boost his ratings” — but I’m giving you the Limbaugh clip because, well, meat this red simply must be served. If you can’t spare 20 minutes, skip ahead to 6:55 and listen for five as Rush prods her on whether she fancies herself an “unanointed” outsider in the Doug Hoffman mold. This seems like his way of enlisting her to help tamp down the potentially destructive third-party fever being stirred by Beck and other members of the “we can’t trust either party anymore” school. She’s on Limbaugh’s side here, which is all to the good, although she qualifies her answer by emphasizing how she’s a fan of spirited primary battles. Unasked by Rush: Whether a particularly “spirited,” a.k.a. bruising, fight between Crist and Rubio will leave enough Republicans so disgruntled as to suppress GOP turnout in the general election.

Other highlights: She shows off a little knowledge on Afghanistan and Iran at around 17:45 (not sure Reagan, who pulled out of Lebanon, is the best person to cite in this context, though) and finally answers a much-anticipated question on immigration. She’s been suspect on that subject up until now; her brief answer here signals improvement, although I’d have liked to see Rush ask her squarely what she thinks about a path to citizenship given last year’s unfortunate pander to Univision. Exit question: Is this too good to check? The thought of easy blog content in the form of another round of McCain/Palin drama is making my heart go pitter patter. Click the image to listen.